Background: Investigation of nutrition knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) and its related influencing factors were carried out by questionnaire survey among elite female small
ball athletes of Guangdong Province. The athletes serum ferritin was also observed to explore the influence of KAP and different sports events on it.
Methods: 54 female small ball athletes, including 20 handball, 20 hockey and 14 softball, were involved in this study by completing a self-designed daily diet questionnaire based on
KAP education mode and their serum ferritin indicators were analyzed meantime. SPSS17.0 statistical software was used in results analysis.
Results:(1) The average scores of nutrition knowledge, attitude and practice were 43.6±11.7 (failure rate 90.7%), 78.4±10.2 (good rate 59.3%) and 63.10±10.17 ( pass rate 37.0%)
respectively. (2)Statistic results were as follows: The one-way ANOVA results showed that A score (p < 0.001) had great difference between different small ball teams, so did KAP (p < 0.05). The
correlation analysis results showed that A-P had a significantly positive correlation (P < 0.001) and that KAP were greatly correlated with educated degree (P < 0.01) and sports events (P < 0.05),
while had no obviously correlation with age, training period and exercise level (P > 0.05).The multiple stepwise regression analysis results showed that sports events (p<0.05) and educated degree (p <
0.05) respectively was the key influence factor of nutrition attitude and practice, and they both were key factors of KAP. (3) The iron metabolism indicator results showed that serum ferritin had
significant difference between different small ball athletes (p < 0.05) and positively correlated with K (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: (1)The lack of nutrition knowledge and the unbalance of nutrition behavior were common in elite female athletes, while they had a positive attitude. It is necessary to
carry out a series of effective nutrition education programs to improve their sports nutrition knowledge and to provide support to form their concept of rational nutrition. (2) Sport event is the key
factor influencing on overall performance of athletes dietary nutrition knowledge, attitude and practice, which suggested that sports team must pay more attention to athletes’ dietary management,
especially to their meal times arrangement and their breakfast and snacks behavior. Coaches and researchers should give more correct advice and guidance on snacks. (3) The incidence of iron deficiency
are consistent with KAP survey results, which hints that it may be an effective measure to prevent iron deficiency anemia by strengthening athletes’ dietary nutrition education.